Sunday, December 25, 2011

Little pearls of wisdom

Yesterday, we were dining at a restaurant. I was busy trying to think how the cook managed to flop the usually excellent "Adai". I mean, even to flop some dish, there has to be a way.. What I expected on my plate was the usual South Indian delicacy called Adai, made of grams, rice and lentils with typical  flavoring that South Indians cant live without. I was thinking of the excellent adai I made at home earlier that week...

While I was trying to munch the adai on my plate, I couldnt help looking at my husband's expression on the Pongal he was eating... He also said something about the Pongal that we ate at home earlier that week..

Our thought lines stopped right where they were, as we heard this line : Cut the Past and Shut the Future.

It was from a little girl at the next table.. She was telling her mother to cut the past and shut the future in some context.. I turned to look and saw a six year old or may be seven years at the maximum, saying this mega pearl of wisdom..

And here we were at thirty plus, thinking about the last week's Adai and Pongal that were better than what we were eating then... The same translates to many things. Often we live in the past or think about the future and never stop and cherish the present...

How very important it is afterall to Shut the future as it is not NOW and cut the past as it is not NOW again!!!

Although the food didn't get a pass mark last evening, the mega pearl of wisdom got an 'Outstanding' grade. I hope to be able to stick to the rule of shutting the future and cutting the past.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

From Bitter Gourd...

Of course, the title seems like I am going to write a recipe with Bitter Gourd... May be I can write.. but the idea today is what I realized when I cooked bitter gourd curry yesterday.

Okay, for beginners or people who can never think of bitter gourd even on paper, I must let you know that it is quite an art to make this interesting vegetable to suit your taste. Bitter Gourd as the name has it, tastes bitter, so much so, not many people would like to eat it. Now, one truth about dishes that are less tasty is that they are all healthy for the body's function. So, the dutiful home maker that I thought I was, decided to make bitter gourd curry yesterday.

A big achievement for anyone who is cooking is to ensure that the vessel is empty after the meal, meaning everyone likes the dish so much that nothing is left for the next meal or tomorrow. Honestly, I think that is when everyone has had a really good meal. Now with this aim, to cook bitter gourd was really a challenge for me.

Here is what I did to reduce the bitterness from the very very fresh bitter gourd that we bought from the market the day before..

1. Cut bitter gourd into small pieces and soak it in salt water.
2. Then, drain off the water and soak the same into tamarind water.( Make tamarind paste and add a little water into it.)
3. Then drain off the tamarind water and cook it as usual.
4. When the vegetable is 3/4th cooked, add a little more tamarind paste and let it cook completely...

All the while, in the kitchen I was wondering why I must try so much to change the property, the bitterness, that is so natural of the vegetable... Isn't like trying to change someone's nature?? and will it work?? and it seemed pointless to buy a vegetable that tastes bitter and then take so much measures to ensure that it tastes less bitter.... ( Like we switch on the Air conditioner to feel cold conditioned air and then wrap ourselves in thickest of blankets to feel warm.. I've never understood this either..)

After all these, when the curry came to the table, I was waiting to see everyone's reaction..Everyone smiled, took one helping of the veggie and then when I offered a second helping politely refused.. :-) People get very polite when things don't taste too well, after all the efforts, you see..When I sat down to eat after serving them, I realized that the bitterness was definitely lesser than it would have been otherwise, but the curry did taste bitter.

Then I recalled someone telling me... Don't try to change anyone or anything from the basic nature.. It just won't help.. You can only do your best, but change must happen from within and is totally out of your control. So very true... This bitter gourd cooking session reminded me of this big lesson. Often, I realize the stress in life for most of us, is because we think we are in capacity to bring about a change in the other person or that we are right and so have the right to think in the best interest of the others... but the truth is Change cannot be brought about with one person's effort. It has to be from within the other person's mind as well.

Let's take the bitter gourd lesson: Bitter Gourd will taste bitter. It is best to accept it as it is... We can do as much as possible to adapt it into our meal, and we must know some bitterness is good for health.If we still cant handle the bitter taste, we can just say a simple 'No' to the vegetable.

Same goes with people's minds as well!!!! We cannot change people. We should be able to accept people as they are. We can try to adapt to an extent, and we must know that in some way, their trait is also needed for our world..If we can't handle them, we can keep a safe distance from them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

K.J Yesudas's interview for me

K.J.Yesudas, the king of Carnatic and Cini songs in Indian Cinema, is finishing his fiftieth successful year of singing career. There was interview with him in one of the Malayalam Television channels.

One point among many of his valuable thoughts caught my attention and has managed to hold my attention to it over the last whole hour.

"If it is not meant for me, I wont get it and I have never worried about it. Its best to appreciate others work for what it is and my belief is that I will not get what is meant for the other person." This was his response to the question, " Have you ever wished that you got the chance to sing someone else 's super hit song?"

What a wonderful philosophy!!!.. Think about it.. Its so simple and the best way to make peace with our many thoughts many a time. Don't you think so?

The younger generation, that is all of us, always want something, or wish that we had a chance to get something, or be somebody, or be like somebody, or just plain be blessed more than what we currently are blessed with.. But I guess, this legendary singer's one line, clears all of these stress makers in one second.

What is ours will be ours and what is not ours won't be ours. How simple!!!!!

There is no need to regret about what didn't work in the past or fret about what might happen in the future, if we get this point straight. I wish to get this point straight into my head... Let's see if I manage to... :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kadai or Frying Pan

I know you must be surprised to see such a title on my blog, especially after such a long gap in blogging.

I am surprised myself. Yesterday when I was mindlessly doing the dishes after breakfast, my favorite frying pan or kadai ( In Tamil ) was staring at me. I could imagine two eyes, a nose and a bright smile on the round kadai. I smiled involuntarily.

Then it struck me as I started scrubbing it, that this particular kadai has been of immense use in my kitchen for the last one plus year. Without this, I don't think, there has been a single day of cooking possible for me. At least I have a feeling that all my best dishes have come out their best because of this kadai.

I also couldn't stop wondering how tirelessly it is serving me. I gave a good look at the pan and saw a lot of wear from the constant usage and scrubbing and cleaning. It has lost its new look that it once had, still it has gained such an important space in my kitchen and my mind. Every time I enter the kitchen the first thing, I look for is this kadai, and if it is clean for the next use.

Now, what was in it for me and you ?? Although at times, we feel tired of life's various pressures, it is just in the best interest of our loved ones or ourselves. So, we just need to smile and do our duties to the best of our ability and just have service in our minds, just like the kadai.

Alright, it is easier said than done, especially when comparing with a non-living thing, but just for a second, personify the vessel or any favorite vessel that you put to constant use in your kitchen and imagine what it would have to say, if it were to speak :) Since the vessels don't talk, we underestimate the strain we put them to. So, its not just us, that are struggling in different ways in this world, even the non-living things do struggle, but they don't complain. :-)

It doesn't help to complain, but it does help to have the strength to cope. Follow the kadai principle: It is possible because it is my duty. :) I thought of this post because, I am heading straight to the kitchen to cook and I am going to scrub the kadai again. My dinner wont be tasty if I dont scrub my kadai and get it ready for the stove.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happenstances - Appreciations made me smile!!!

I disconnected my internet after trying very hard to rewrite something that I rewrote already.. Oh yes, these things are very common in technical writing. The best decision that has always worked for me is to switch to my blog and write or read something that I wrote before or approve a comment or may be even write a post that day. For a while I have not been doing this and so it never occured till I almost pressed the shut down button. [ Okay dont ask me, why, you can always restart... You cant, especially if you have worked hard on one page and finally emailed that copy to your client and didnt find the next page interesting enough to spend the next three hours on.. and I dont have that kind of 'bandwidth' in my present lifestyle ].

I really do not know how but I suddenly remembered something I wanted to write about and was sure it wont take long to write it out. So reconnected the net and logged in to blogger.

There was a comment waiting for me. As always, comments make me jump for one good reason - They increase your curiosity and the reader's comment could be one of appreciation, strong dislike, criticism, sarcasm or a different opinion. All of these are worth every minute of their time on my site. So, I look forward to reading the comments and also take a double check on how I take them. The blog really has helped me take comments well on my technical writing world as well.

Now, to this comment which is definitely a happenstance I would say. It was on this post I wrote last February on an art exhibition by Artist Anuradha Nalapat.. Today I saw the artist's comment on the post.. A busy artist that she is, it thrills me infinitely to see that my post has reached her mail box or search index on google. Whatever way, the comments were encouraging.. It has these words " You write beautifully' and I am tempted beyond the extent of what I can express, to tell my project client ( the rework manager ) that there are people who believe I can write well :)

That aside, the comment is very positive and encourages me to close my work day with a smile.

Artist Anuradha made my day. And this is totally a chance, a happenstance.. else I would have left my work desk with a feeling of ' Oh My God, why am I not getting this piece right? '.. So our lesson here, is to give appreciation whenever we get a chance. We never know when it can make someone's day or what level of encouragement it can be to anyone, personally or professionally. Lets appreciate everything around us, everyone around us, for what it is always.

Thanks Anuradha, for the encouragement. Means a lot today.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Worm in the rain....

The South West monsoon and its rains are very popular in India, more so in Kerala and Mumbai. The papers ran news threads saying, Heavy rains lashing Mumbai... and I was in the kitchen making our breakfast. Yummy ( I really mean it ) Aloo Poha ( Cooked rice flakes, potato, and southern spices blended in uniformly) was coming out really well in my mind as I started adding one ingredient after the other.

While at this, my mind was also doing some parallel processing of the 'To Do' list for the day and complaining to much about the rainy day. I had so much to do and the rain started off really early ( rather it had not stopped througout the night, which possibly I didnt know ). I could not hear any other noise except the noise of the rain falling on the asbestos and plastic or whatever other material people used as an extra shade to their existing sun shade. I was not exactly pleased the way my plans were almost getting flopped for the day.

The lovely aroma of the Aloo and spice mix was very inviting and so my mind was back into cooking... while I was still irritated about the rains, I happened to look outside the kitchen window..

I spotted a worm trying to find its way to a safe place away from the painful rain drops.. must be tough for the worm right? It was so small and the rain drops must have been too heavy for the worm.From the way it was staggering, trying not to fall from the sides of the brick into the gushing water beneath, I understood something major..

For us it is just about our day's plans or some minor issue that we normally speak of as 'major'and kill our pleasant times unnecessarily, while for the worm it is about survival. The worm was trying non stop to get its grip on the side of the brick.. The body of the worm was slimy, the brick was slippery from the constant rain and the water level was rising and it could sweep off the worm any minute. And such is the case of the worm's life for the next few months.. Each day is about SURVIVAL and for us life is much better with a roof on top and food to eat and clothes to keep us from the rain... How ungrateful we are!!!

I was no more worried about my plans for the day.. I decided to take it by the tide ( in this case read it as rain ) and happily ate two plates of Aloo Poha.. It somehow tasted better than ever before.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can't wait for my computer to start up

Yes, that's exactly the feeling each time I start my computer. After a very long gap, I finally got my hands on my laptop. Its surely a blessing and makes me feel that life is back to its routine. I didn't think computer can be a major addiction, at least to me, but it definitely is, to be honest.

After a long vacation in India, dealing with many things, and settling back in Oman, I finally started off with checking emails and once that was over, my next stop was to step in here and say I am back.

I have quite a few things to write about, which I will slowly do during the next few weeks. I just came in to give my attendance in blogspot, as it just doesnt feel okay not to write :)

Hope all of you have been doing well and great over the past two months.

Keep reading,
Dew

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Television - a new angle

Until this morning, I never gave any serious consideration for Television as a medium of knowledge.

My grandmother was seen to be very busy with her cooking in the kitchen. We all knew it was only 10.00 A.M and there was a lot of time to even think of lunch. Besides we were a lot of people who could help in cooking as well. That way, we need not enter the kitchen until Noon.

While the entire family was chatting about everything and nothing, we noticed that my grandmother was quietly rushing off to the living room. After giving it a safe timer of five minutes, my curiosity got the better of me and I went to check what makes the always present grandma so busy to even sit with the gathering.

There she was trying to figure out the channel number that played her favorite programme.

After a very very very long time, I decided to watch the programme with her, more t0 find out what makes her rush to the Television.

There was this programme called Makkal Arangam wherein people discuss common issues of the village or town. The host of the programme conducts it so wonderfully well that after a few weeks the problem in the village or town or city is said to be resolved or to say the least addressed. My grandma seemed to really notice all the intricate details given out visually and verbally in the programme. At the end of it, I realized that this was probably the only way that the old people really got to know what is happening in the world. Their eyes dont permit reading the small print of the newspapers most of the times. A very high volume TV programme can show them the world from the comfort of their houses.

I finally agree that Television is quite a boon for a lot of people who don't get to really network and see the world for themselves. Most watch the world's hustle and bustle through Television's small frame. Afterall, Television is not so bad an invention, discounting the fact that there are some programmes that make you wonder why a TV was even invented... But then when you make the right choice, I am sure TV is a big boon and a great source of knowledge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sargam - A 1992 Movie Review

This is a malayalam movie directed by Hariharan. Probably everyone in Kerala would have watched this many times. I got a chance to watch this movie yesterday.

Brilliant make - a nice mix of psychology and music.

I could identify, Vineeth, Renuka, Thilagan, and Nedumudi Venu in the movie. I wouldnt know the rest of the stars but I must say the movie has been done very well and is set in the late seventies or so it seems. Or may be the nineties itself. I would not know such a set up because I grew up in Tamil Nadu.

The whole movie has been shot in a bungalow of old times. They call it Kovilagam which seems to mean Temple. I assume that the ancestors of this family had once been very rich and provided for the families working for them and lived a kingly life with great taste towards traditional arts. The family in the movie seems to be richer as well and did have regards for arts, especially music.

Kuttan Thamburan had epilepsy and his close pal, Hari was around right from childhood to take care of him during every fit of the attack. They grow up almost like brothers. All medications prove useless and the final resort was to get him married to one of kuttan's uncle's daughter Thangamani, per the advice of the doctor (Vaidhyar) in the village. This girl and Hari were in love, but because they were bound by the affection for Kuttan Thamburan's mother Subhadra, Hari and Thangamani had to give up their love. Hari becomes very busy with his world of music and becomes a world famous in six years time. He left the village on the day of Kuttan Thamburan's wedding.

Kuttan Thamburan comes to know of his wife's love for Hari and that the whole family had known about this and still gone ahead with the marriage made him angry. He misses Hari around a lot and then with all search for Hari proving useless, Kuttan Thamburan ended his life the day after the wedding. Thangamani becomes paralysed at the sight of the shocking scene of Kuttan Thamburan's death.

Hari comes back to visit Subhadra six years later. That is when he comes to know the story of all that happened after he left Kovilagam. The once cheerful and bubbly girl Thangamani, a wonderful singer and Veena artist is presently paralysed and speech deprived as well. Hari's shock knows no bounds. Subhadra was upset all the while and Hari gave her support and she completed grieving over her son and also spoke out her mind of the guilty feeling in her; that one wrong decision of marriage ruined the entire Kovilagam.

Hari's music programmes were committed all over the world and when he decided to leave, he comes to meet Subhadra. She breathed her last when Hari sang a lovely song. The memories of the past came flooding to Thangamani's mind as she heard the song and slowly her speech came back.

The story of Sargam ends there, giving us leads to believe that Subhadra died after ensuring that finally Thangamani is in the right hands. Hari probably remarried and the great musician couple probably lived on to contribute to the music world,making their village proud.

The story also had another silent artist, who was in love with Hari. It was her big loss but it was never exaggerated, and leading us to believe that you dont always get what you want. But you generally have to accept what happens because what happens is per the norm of life.

The story has a lot of wonderful songs, by Jesudas. This movie is a muscial treat.

As for psychology, we see that Hari's father, a music teacher never really took care to discover the hidden music talent in his own son. He always wanted Hari to study which he was not really interested in. Hari's dad used to hate the times that Hari and Kuttan Thamburan spent together.

Thamburati Shubadra, loved Hari as her own son, but when it came to getting her son's health alright, she didnt think about what Hari and Thangamani would be going through to give up their love. The biggest mistake she made was the root cause of the end of Kovilagam.

Hari's sister discovered a girl's love for Hari and promised her just like that about marriage to Hari, instilling the love strong. No one asked Hari's view. If they had, this girl would not have had to wait for six years to know that Hari loved Thangamani.

Kuttan Thamburan's father's moral science was not very clear. He never had father's love ever. No one bothered to even feel what he must be going through at the times of epilepsy and the emotional outbursts that followed. They only worsened his illness to the incurable state. He discloses that he always felt unnecessary in this world especially to Kovilagam and Hari was the only perso who probably loved him. At least that was what the family made him believe.

Hari lost his mother as soon as he was born and grew up with his father and sister. So Thamburati Subadhra's motherly love kept him attracted to the house which Hari's dad never understood ever.

Thangamani lost her dad and was living with her mother in Kovilagam. Her affection for Hari soon grew into love and because she and her mom were in the tharavadu and noone else would decide to give their daughter's hand in marriage to Kuttan Thamburan, with no other support, Thangamani was forced to marry Thamburan. Had there been someone to speak for her she wouldnt have had to go through the agony.

Now, all these and many more of psychology is very evident in the movie. It seems that life is a mix of circumstances which bring experiences, which then develop into psychology and then what happens to you is mostly based on this psychology.

It is a very ordinary movie, with a different story line, strong direction sense, great choice of artists, good acting, precise characterization, heavenly music and absolute no-nonsense scenes.

If you are watching this movie to see a way to laugh or if you are under 25, then Sargam is not the right movie. But, if you are looking for a well directed movie, without tears, but with good emotions and great music, and if you want to learn to understand better, then Sargam is a great watch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On silence and quietness

Being silent and Being quiet are not the same.

Absence of Noise is Quietness.
Presence of Peace in the midst of noise is Silence.

Being quiet resolves disputes.
Being silent never brings up disputes.

Being quiet can mean acceptance.
Being silent can mean forgiveness or patience.

Being quiet all the time can cause problems to be promoted from trivial to disastrous.
Being silent all the time can cause problems to be demoted from disastrous to trivial.

They said, Speech is Silver, Silence is Golden.. Quietness didn't find a place in the proverb.

So, speak when you must, with Silence as the goal in your mind.

Speak to make peace.
Speak to appreciate.
Speak to love.
Speak to thank.
Speak to care.
Speak to reduce stress.
Speak to have fun.
Speak to communicate.
Speak to emote.

In all these instances your mental silence will only improve.

In examination halls and temples quietness will improve your focus. Temples and examination halls should revise their sign boards as 'Silence and Quietness please'.

In hospitals and places of condolences quietness will give a feeling of having understood someone's pain.

When you know you are talking to someone who is not in the right frame of mind to understand, quietness helps.

In all other instances, silence helps but not quietness. Being quiet all the time, only increases the noise in your head. There is really no point in being quiet all the time with a lot of turbulent thoughts running inside your mind making your mind a very noisy market with absolutely zero peace quotient. So, talk it out to improve your silence quotient and hence the peace quotient.

Silence is all about the intangible mind, while quietness is all about the tangible noise.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nrityanjali's Sharanarpitam - Wonderful

Thursday evening was grand for us. I was very excited to have an invitation for a Bharatanatyam dance performance of my friend's daughter. I had learnt the art as a child and I now know to appreciate Bharatanatyam. I can sit for hours together watching dance performances.

So, off we went to this place called Al Wadi Al Khabir and struggled to find a parking space outside the venue, Crystal Suites. Inside, there was an event manager who directed us to the place and our friends came out of the hall with two passes. The effect inside the hall was theatrical and the first performance of the children had begun.

The programme started with a lot of Shlokhas sung on various Hindu Gods and Godesses. All the children who took part in this dance were under seven years of age. The stage was colorful and the lighting was perfect. I liked the grace, the style, the ease and the uniformity with which the children did their performance. It gave the best first impression on the whole programme.

We decided not to sit and look at the heads of people in front of us, so took the farthest corner of the hall from where we could see every move of every student on stage without any hindrance. Neither of us is very tall, so this standee state was the best decision that we took that evening. The hall was brimming with friends and parents of the children peforming on the stage. I stopped for a second, wished sincerely that these children get to perform on Chennai stage where the hall will have at least three to four times the crowd I saw in the 300 seater ball room at Crystal Suites.

In Chennai, all the children can wear natural Jasmine flowers which are rare find in Muscat. So, for this programme, all the little heads were adorned with artificial flowers which beat the real ones in their carefully woven strands. The importance of South Indian attire which almost always includes flowers on children and women's hair-do made me smile with pride. Oh yes, I am a super-proud Tamilian who loves Jasmine flowers and South Indian traditions.

I am used to seeing the traditional dance dresses which have a silk finish, contrast borders, pyjamas with frilled pleats and frilled blouses for children. The seasoned and age-wise senior dancers wear a silk saree styled the same way. Now, for this programme, I was expecting something like that on stage. But it turned out that the dress sense was different, new, and modern without compromising on the traditional look. Most of the children had a Salwar Kameez (which they can use for any function later) designed to look like the traditional dance attire. The color choice and the designing was over and beyond anyone's expectation there.

The rest of the programme had the famous En Pallikondeeraiya with a group of students conveying the meaning of the song in as best a manner as could be possible. Then there was the highlight of the day where a group of eight students danced to the rhythm of a song on Mata Durga Devi. If I were to ask a once more, I would definitely ask for this song. It was about the Godess Durga Devi, the all-powerful Goddess in India.

I loved the Abhyasam where a group of dancers showcased what they do each day in their dance classes. It had a few basic dance steps that the children are taught early on in dance sessions. These steps help to keep focus on the Jathi, Thala and the Mudras later on.

There was a Bharatiyar song which was centered around the rain and how people rejoice. Was wondering when was the last time any one us would have really danced in rain. Well, we talk about umbrellas and rain coats and staying indoors because we would fall ill.. In effect forget that rain is a wonderful gift.. Must be farmers to know what rain means really. The dance was rejuvenating to the mind and the colors of the dresses and the stage was a treat to the eyes.

The voice that sang for the whole programme and the team that supported the excellent vocalists is worth a mention. The Nrityanjali group felicitated all of the Orchestra and the chief guest addressed the audience. The last programme was that of the Guruji. Smt. Premila Ramesh herself. We could not stay for the programme, but then I am sure it would have been the highlight anyway. Her students' performance spoke volumes about the teacher's skillset. We missed it but had to leave.

You must remember that this performance is in Muscat, Oman, far far away from India and in this place to stage a wonderful dance performance in a close to traditional way is not an easy task and all appreciations to Nrityanjali's dance teacher, Smt. Premila Ramesh who along with her team of well wishers and students has made this show a grand success.

Dance - always a wonderful energizer. I wished many times during the programme to dance right where I was, but then remembered I was in a huge crowd and can't do that. If you ask me, any good dance performance must make you also dance to the tune. I saw such a performance day before yesterday, one that will remain in my mind for many years to come.

And the best part of Thursday was that it gave me a chance to know that my husband likes the art too and ofcourse is a good sign that says, I can attend many dance programmes in future.

Nrityanjali's Sharanarpitam - A wonderful experience. All thanks to my friends who invited us for the programme, else watching a traditional and professional dance programme in Muscat, was something that I never even imagined.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Cooking and healing touch!!!

I was not feeling too well yesterday and over the last few days. It was my husband's birthday yesterday and I wanted to feel good. Now, I didn't know that all it takes to change from a 'not-too-well' state to 'feel-better' or 'doing-good' is just that one voice in my head which said: Just get up and get going... Make some nice special meal for dinner and of course take rest after you are done. After all, it is his special day and do not break his day's cheer!!!!

I do not know even as I write this post as to how I actually worked myself up to make a grand dinner ( Okay, not so grand, but yes a different dinner I must say )

On the menu last night we had:

Badam Kheer
Masala Vada
Olan ( Kerala dish)
Mango Sambhar
Tomato Rasam
Capsicum curry
Pappad
Moru Molagai or fried chillies

We had a good dinner and it was only after I put away the dishes and cleared the table that my feeling of 'not-well' really propped up again.. Can cooking be connected to a healing touch??!!!??

Wondering if I would have mustered energy for a normal meal had it not been my husband's birthday yesterday. It just took a wonderful meal to make me feel less ill and this morning I am almost fine I would say. Once again proven fact that it is all in the mind!!!!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Blessed!!!

Today, I woke up toa reasonably good start as compared to the last few days. Still, somewhere deep down I knew that I am not what I usually am.

Discovered that blessings are always around when I switched on my computer. There were emails to make my mood better, some old friends came online after many months just today, and I did receive some emails from people after a long time. Also read some interesting blog posts.

Now, all these would have happened many times in my life, but somehow today I realized that all of these are blessings that have been in my life over the years and never realized as much as I did today.

Am much better spirited person now.

We often do not know how blessed we are until a moment comes when we have to put up with something to realize how much blessed we are.

I remember this verse from school : I thank the Lord that I've been Blessed; With more than my share of happiness. Its probably just that I never bothered to realize the gift of a simple email, a chat conversation, a forward, a quotation, or being surrounded by nice people all these days.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Listening and understanding are two different things!!!!

I have often thought it is easy to understand someone else. But then realized in one important and striking moment today that actually it is not easy to understand anyone at all. All the times that we have claimed to have understood someone were probably because we were not involved in the scene as much as them.

They say, everything is funny as long as it happens to someone else...

Another saying : Head ache and Stomach ache can be understood only if you face it yourself at least once.

It only means that unless the other person is also in the same boat as you or has been there before and done that before or been through it before, just like your situation only then it is possible to understand.

The other times that we claim we understand, we are just empathizing with the person's situation and may be give a lending ear to the other person's thoughts and emotions. But we really do not know what all must be going through someone's head when they say what they say!!!

This is a realization that struck me as a bright lightening blow a few hours ago.

The next time when I want to say I understand, I probably will correct the same as I can listen.. That is the best that I can do for someone in need. After the initial surge of emotions subside may be I can ask if there is anything I can do for them....

I recall one such time when my friend said, "No, you don't understand" and I was super upset... but now I know it is true that no one can really understand anyone else unless they have traveled the same path before.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Splash on Judgement

Lets reserve judgment to managerial decisions and trial court rooms; Keep personal and social circle out of this.

Your judgement need not be correct; Often it is just an assumption.

If someone says something, it is expected that you listen, but it is definitely not mandatory to judge them by what they say.

Almost always, you are judged by what you say, what you wear, what you do, but rarely by what you are. So dont worry about any incorrect judgement.

Judgements are like statistics; they are just a broad scale to go by, but they are not to be completely trusted.

Do not judge a person, but definitely judge his actions. That way, even if your judgement is incorrect, you still won't hate the person.

Everyone has a right to give opinions, but often these opinions get stated as judgements. Know the difference between the two!!! Opinion is a view point, Judgement is a conclusion with no ammendment. Don't hesitate to give your opinion but ensure you think twice before you make it sound like a judgement.

You always judge others based on yourself or your thoughts - own or acquired. So any incorrect judgement may mean that you or your thoughts are flawed.

Judgements in courts take all efforts to prove the charge for a reason. Unless you are in such a role, why judge?

If you must judge, keep your thoughts about it yourself. Do not force your judgement on someone else.

Who are you to judge someone? Why are you judging anyway? Keep your views but throw away your judgements. Remember, You are not the SUPREME.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

On Men and Women

Men are Men and can be ridiculous; Women are Women and can be stupid!!!

Men can follow world news much easier than what is happening in their homes; Women dont care much about who is playing today's cricket match but it is very important for them to know who is the designer for the next dress in display in a shop.

Men are generally the happiest when left alone; Women are generally the crankiest when left alone.

Men love to be carelessly dressed; Women love to look carelessly dressed, but would have spent hours together carefully on the carelessness.

Men talk less; Women can never keep quiet; even the quietest woman is silently talking to herself.

Men act like they dont love gossips, but then news channels are in business only because of them; Women don't act, they love gossips but don't love news channels anyway.

Men cannot sit and read for a reason women can never understand - Books make you listen to an idea; Men like to listen only to themselves. If the home is lucky, then they sometimes listen to the women at home - mother, sister, wife, and daughter.

Women like to behave as if they do not want to be told what to do.. But honestly, they care for suggestions.

Men are too practical at times for women to manage; Women are too sentimental at times for men to manage.

With so many differences and so many more that were, are and would be, wonder how Men and Women balance together on the same scale on all walks of life!!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strange wish!!!

I was looking for some answers online. I got answers to most of my questions but then there are few that I am unable to find on google...

Over the years, I've got so used .. rather all of us have got so used to googling, that if it is not in Google, it probably is not there is the conclusion for most searches..

I recall a dialogue in Dum Maro Dum where a police officer is asking a question to a 'just-found' informer from the city gangster group. The informer shivers obviously terrified.. The officer says, " Say if you know this person or not.. For everything else there's google ". This dialogue is the best in the movie and seems so right too especially when you are looking for some information online.

Just a while ago, after thirty minutes of hard search and research, when I did find partial answer to my query, I logged on to gmail and sincerely wished God had an email address that I can write to for some of my doubts for which Google cannot give me a solution!!!!

Dum Maro Dum - Movie review

This movie is about drug mafia and its impact on the younger generation and the society at large. Everyone, just about everyone in the movie has a hand in the drug mafia voluntarily or involuntarily.

The ACP Vishnu Kamat is posted in this particular place to eradicate the evil of drug mafia. This officer had once bent a lot of rules and regulations for the drugsters until one fine day, a car accident in which his wife and child reaches God's abode changes his life for good. The cause of the accident was a head-on-collision with a vehicle driven by a drug addict. Vishnu Kamat changed for good.

Now, the way Vishnu Kamat deals with chasing the several million worth drug storage and its owners is one angle of the movie. The way the drug whirls every youngster into it is another angle. The fact that nobody is able to resist the money benefits that the drug business in that town and abroad brought is another angle.

The pivot of the movie is the brains behind the story line. The direction takes an applause. The songs make you smile. The cast have done their role well.

All said, I am wondering if the movie is a must-see for the children, because I have a feeling that some scenes and dialogues in the movie need not be understood and taken in by the younger crowd of today. I wish the movie is for only above 18, but sadly children were also seen in the theatre. Not sure, if they needed the high dose of violence and facts so early in life..

Agreed there are lot of lessons for the younger generation to take from this movie, but I dont think their minds would be able to see the morals as much as the color and charm and style and fashion and the lifestyle in teenage. Hopefully every one understands the movie in the right spirit.

Good work by...I dont know the director's name as I didnt get to see the name slides of the movie.

Good one. Noisy. Wild. But very different from the usually seen dramatically romantic, many-to-one chase love stories. Nice attempt but seemingly a little too factual.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Atleast they believe.....

Too many controversial statements, Too many cover stories, Too many opinions on that one great soul, Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Never meant to write about this, but then could not resist, when I read a post just now on one of the popular websites. The post was well written and says a statement that is way beyond argument.. Death happens to everyone and it seems like it all ends in 'Nothing'. Agreed.

It further goes to say that it is just because of this truth that makes man weak, that man seeks solace in divinity, sages, gurus, and spirituality. May be like a load of others this person is expressing his views...

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the belief in this great soul - some inviting, some troublesome, some biased, and some baseless. Over the years a lot has been said and a lot has been probably left unsaid...

Have you touched a zillion lives?
Have you been able to help as many people?
Have you sustained so many controversial cover stories?
Have you worn the same colored clothing all your life?
Have you spoken nice things for others to learn from?
Have you bothered to smile at the one who hurt you?
Have you made many efforts to make people around you happy?

Most often, we would have 'No' for answer to most of these questions. But this great sage, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has 'Yes' responses to all of these questions. So, definitely he is much greater than most others we know.

All said, there is just one more question that is remaining in my mind... Will so many people mourn our death when we die? It is as simple as that... Not that people must.. but the greatness of a man is mostly known when you see a lot of genuine prayers and tears at the funeral.

And it is said that after someone leaves this world, you should not be talking about flaws or continue the enemity. A lost life is definitely a big loss, however seemingly good or bad that person has been in his lifetime. So at least for that basic reason, let us respect his greatness, respect that a lot of people believe in him, and bow down for once instead of talking controversies that are no longer valid.

Remember there are people who believe in him and there are others who do not. It is definitely a choice that people take and just as you have your reasons to not believe, they have reasons to believe. Let them be..

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fingering.....

Yes, that is a term used in Type-writing. I never went to an institute to learn typing and so never really knew which fingers to use for which keys in my keyboard. All I knew is I learnt to type through my endless ranting about sense and nonsense on my chat windows, email compose pages and blog space and ofcourse my job as a Technical Writer. [ It surprises me that not a single interviewer asked me this question if I knew to type professionally].I guess, everyone learns typing through practice and so that said, I do not know which fingers I habitually use for which keys on my key board... Until...

Today...

Why go as far as typing? I never realized the key role of one of my fingers other than wearing a ring, until this morning, I must say. I was busy dreaming about the yummy breakfast I am about to make ( yes, dream about the end product as you start preparing the dish, it will come out very well..) This is not a conscious decision I made, but then I was so hungry and was telling myself that my Upma will be done in a few minutes and the aroma was already filling my dreamy head.

And I cut one of my finger tips along with the ripe tomato.. In all the red color of the tomato and the blood, you must be able to imagine the scene on my table. I thought it was a minor cut and was doing all I can to stop the blood, but apparently I had sliced a little bit ( thankfully ) of the skin from the finger tip also along with the tomato. I didnt know Biology, but later learnt from the doctor that the blood flow in the finger tip would take longer to subside. After all the red turned white paper tissues thrown away into the dustbin, after some cotton swabs turning blood red, literally, some ice pack and some water, I finally decided to see the doctor. Now, until I opened my cupboard to take out a dress to wear to the doctors, it never really occured that this finger had been of a big help all these days in my life.

Without using that one finger my day is going on and I totally realize how hard it is for a lot of people who have not been blessed with fingers or hands for that matter. My entire house work has come to a complete halt because of this bleeding finger. No bath, No cleaning, No washing clothes, No cutting vegetables into fine chops until this gets well. When I sat down to type is when I realized how much I have been using that finger on my left hand.. I can't make the mistake of tapping the finger on any of the keys for the pain reminds me often that I have had a bad cut.

It is like I am learning fingering now for the first time( without this hurt finger) along with a major lesson in life reiterated:

Never underestimate the power of anything, however small or big, pronounced or subtle, significant or insignificant. Take time to realize that you are blessed in many ways than most others.

I sincerely thanked God for the fingers I have been blessed with today. At least my painful finger can get back in action in a day or two. A lot of people suffer permanent losses and excruciating pains. God bless them all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

cine songs - yesterday and years ago

Yes.. I did feel devastated hearing one particular song. Since it is against the policy of my blog to quote the programme or the movie ( I dont care to know which movie though) I am not saying which programe it is.

Yesterday afternoon, I switched on the TV and chanced to see a wonderful stage show where a lot of cine singers sang their best. There were also some dance programmes in between. It was supposedly some major launch and a lot of famous people were present to make the event and the crowd blessed!!!! And the crowd was massive... As far as one could see, it was heads and heads unlimited.

I was enjoying every bit of the song sequences and was in my own world of music. I love music for its tone sometimes, for its cheer some other times, for the words sometimes and for the background music other times. I am not a great singer but I do go on a singing spree at home sometimes.

Some songs just drive me crazy because I love Tamil language for its beauty and the words that make total sense to me.. It is my mother tongue and I grew up in Tamil Nadu and studied Tamil quite well. So I can safely bet that I understand quite a bit of the language. But in the recent times, I dont think I understand any of the words in most tamil songs.

There was this lovely song sung by Hari charan in the programe and I could not stop marvelling at the brilliance of the composition and the talent of the singer. I cannot tell a Raaga or Thala of any song, but I am glad I know to appreciate good music. So, obviously, was waiting for the next singer to come on stage. Its been quite a while since I got to see some mega music programme on television. After the much detested ad break, I glued my eyes and ears for the next programme on stage.

There was a lovely lighting on the stage, and a few girls did some dance movements. No comments. Then there came a set of boys. Did some dance movements. No comments here too. The background music seemed to get a lot of applause from the crowd especially the children. I didnt understand why. Still decided to see what is so interesting about it. Then the girls and boys started dancing for a note which seemed to be a known song to the entire world except me!!!! It said something on these lines...

Who is the one who gave birth to you.. If I see her anytime, She's dead ( meaning I'll kill her)

Now whoever wrote such a lyric, might be a great lyricist, might have written for the context in the movie, or any other lame reason that any one might give.... I simple cannot accept children singing this song word to word... Mother is the greatest... And whoever can conceive this about the being so special to the world. Can accept any illogical stupid composition in any baseless context, but not this one that demeans motherhood. Why didnt the censor board say anything? Is it not in their line of work to condemn songs without basic sense? I just hate to say that the tamil world is approving such writing.

And there were a bunch of people who chose this song to dance in front of a hugggeee crowd. The only way to stop such songs from being recorded or accepted in the movie world is people abstaining from playing it anywhere.. The movie should lose its rating because of such demeaning numbers, only then will the industry and its pattern change...

Where is the concept of poetry anywhere in most of today's songs? I dont mean to go back to the classic tamil cinema, but I couldnt help comparing some of the age old lyrics... I was singing these lines at home day before yesterday:

Kalangalil Aval Vasandham; meaning In Seasons, she's the 'Spring'.
Kalaigalil Aval Oviyam; meaning In Arts, she's a 'Painting'.
Maadhangalil Aval Maarghazhi; meaning In Months, she's the Tamil Month, 'Maarghazhi'.[ December 15th to January 14th is supposed to be the holy month in India]
Malargalil Aval Malligai; meaning In Flowers, she's 'Jasmine'.

I learnt the next few lines of the song also, so kept repeating this and you wont believe that the feeling of beauty and the love expressed in the lyrics and the music can make you feel so good that anything you see will look beautiful. Even if you do not know or understand Tamil, Google for 'Kalangalil Aval Vasandham' and listen to the song.. You'll see what I mean. It will seem like good music does not need the knowledge of the language. It shows really.

Wonder when will our movie directors and music directors learn to only accept good poems for music lyrics?? And when will our audience learn not to applaud for stupid lyrics? Wonder why music world is not saying anything against such compositions?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No time syndrome

Yes, I was caught up in the 'No time' syndrome for a while I guess. I never took the effort to come to my blog page until this morning when I picked up this book called Megaliving by Robin Sharma.

I enjoy my morning cup of coffee usually with some TV programme. Today, because the book was lying in the sofa where I left it last night..[ Oh yes, am not too organized.. for me, its really okay for things to be lying around once in a while... usually the house gets in order only after 10:00 A.M. After that I never re-arrange or move things much. If me or my husband have not had the sense to put it back on shelf, so be it.. until the next morning!!!! Life is more than just cleaning is my present motto.], I picked it up to leaf through it.

Some thought lines as I typed the email spreading word about the book to my friends:

When we cannot spend time with ourselves and people, what are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to work for a tomorrow that is yet to come? Most often we are bissfully unaware that today is just passing by without any effort to keep our mind sane at a later date. Just like we would make time for brushing our teeth ( I assume most people brush their teeth everyday..) we must make time to keep our mind sane.. It is the engine that drives everything about us. It must be maintained.. I read this in the book. That the mind is like an engine that will work well if kept oiled and maintained. Quite right!!!!

Always thought the heart does the engine job, then slowly thought that the digestive system is the key, and have had thoughts if brain is the engine, but came to realize that the mind which is an entity on its own, with no tangible form is the master of the game. What the mind conceives is what we are able to do. No more and No less. You can eat healthy, your heart rate can be perfect, your IQ might be excellent, but then we need to remember that it wont take much time to lose control of all these, if we don't work on that intangible mind that is the master of everything about us. Now, we all know that the master dictates and we listen. That is exactly why we say ' No time'. The same with everything else. Whatever the mind says, we do.. We seem to have no control over it.

So who are we if we don't have control on our mind..?

Yes, we cannot control what is happening outside, but what we can certainly do is control the thoughts that enter our mind and condition our mind to believe what is good for us. That takes practice and the only non-materialistic instance in the world when Master can also be a slave.

Well, am not into the mental well-being class on this blog post, but just realized that a lot of what we want to do gets undone or goes un-noticed just because our mind says 'No Time'. There is no best way to make time for things you want to do, except really taking time out.. Just take time out.. Your mind has the trick to help you deal with the after effects, because you are the master here. Your mind will help you solve the problem of dealing with the lost time. Dont ask me how, but if this post sounds good, then just believe it!!!!

On the home page

I usually have Google search page as my landing page as soon as I start my browser window. The reason was every time I needed some reference at work, it was easier to 'Google' it.

Last month, we had given our computer for a re-formatting. When the computer came back from the center, the home page in our Internet Explorer browser was set to a news page. I didn't bother much. I used my Google whenever I needed it, but since I am not working like before, I used the search page not so often.

It must have been three weeks with that set up of news page. Every day I got to read some unpleasant, saddening news of some problem, mishap, accident, tricked incident, fraudulence, and resistance. I didn't like it, but then took it as a fact of life. I used to quickly skip the page after the first story of mishap. This particular page had sixteen news bite pages. It was a nice page design and I thought it is better than reading a whole news paper.

One morning, just before I started my core writing for a technical subject, I thought another five minutes is not going to delay the work.. [ The minus point of freelancing..]and I started reading through the home page news bites. The first one was a war story, the second one was a scandal, the third one was a student case of unfairness, the fourth one was a murder, the fifth one was a case on trial, the sixth one was a problematic scene in politics, the seventh one was another murder trial, the eighth one was some renowned and one of my favorite singers' daughter's unfortunate death. I sat there, shocked!!!!.. The shock registered only after I read the news about someone I could associate with even as just another fan, but then realized that I have only read all mishaps and unpleasantness.. The world seemed like it is full of tragedies...

I changed the home page in the browser to about:blank, which is a blank page where you land every time you start your browser. Its been a week now, and I am a better person now. This is not to say that what I did was right, but then I guess I do not have the courage to read so many unpleasant news every day.

I used to avoid the news just for this reason and right from childhood never cared for current affairs. Some time mid-way I regretted for a very minimum time frame when I didn't know as much as the others on politics and world affairs, but then overcame it as I began to realize that it is sufficient to know what I must know for the overall growth as a person and not really worry about who is the next leader or where is the next cricket match scheduled.

Now, after a very long time, these news bites did bring a chance to read through some news from the world, but then, realized that most of what make the news are unpleasant and often cannot be digested all in a day by me. Unknowingly these news bites created a turmoil in me about life at large... Now that I have cleared my home page, I feel I am much better off.

Yes, I agree that there is so much happening in the world, but not necessary that you must know all of it. What you must know will reach you.

What is permanent??

Permanent is one word in English Dictionary that probably needs a revision. The Pink Frock, The Sapphire stash, The athlete win, The m...